An Overview of
Barbara Mae Gayle and Raymond W. Preiss
Researchers interested in ongoing interpersonal processes often choose to examine message exchanges and sequences of messages. This approach has the advantage of capturing relationship dynamics that may not be apparent in investigations guided by individual or dyadic perspectives. Of course, no single approach adequately accounts for important relationship intricacies. The overviews to earlier sections provided a general context for meta-analyses on individual issues (self-esteem, communication competency, and language usage) and dyadic issues (identity, attraction, self-disclosure, and influence).
We now turn our attention to the interactional processes involved in ongoing relational exchanges between two parties. In this section, we provide a profile of the interactional perspective and review issues that have evolved in the literature guided by this approach. As with earlier sections, our summary is intended to provide the general context for the meta-analyses selected for this section. Although hardly exhaustive, the issues of relational support, conversational processes, and mutuality of control illustrate the virtues of the interactional approach.